Mixing breast milk and formula

Yes, Still PaulaYes, Still Paula Posts: 485Registered Users
It wasn't until recently that I've been told why it might not be a good idea to mix breast milk and formula: B/C it will change the composition of the breast milk and possibly affect the baby's intestines.

I've mixed breast milk and formula for my baby until she was 6 and 1/2 months old. She's now almost 8 months old. I didn't mix the two together in the same bottle. I would have loved to give her breast milk only, but on top of having trouble with nursing, I had to go back to work 6 weeks after I had her (money issue since I'm a single mom).

Anyway, the amount of breast milk I made was about 6 to 7 ounces a day...not much, but I heard at the time I was doing a good thing since any amount helps and it's still a way of passing along some antibodies to the baby.

My concern at this point is: Is it possible that having mixed the two together for the same feeding, could I have done a terrible thing that might affect her kidneys? Will time tell, or would I see signs by now if something is wrong?

She appears to be a happy and healthy baby, but I can't help but worry about her health later on in life....


  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I did with bothy my boys, I didn't mix them together in the same bottle. I would start off with breast milk, then rinse it out and make formula to top them off, and they both turned out fine. With my oldest the combo was for the first year, the second time around 6 months.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    You're not harming your baby by mixing breastmilk and formula. Yes, feeding the baby anything other than breastmilk (including any amount of formula) changes their digestive tract but the same thing happens to exclusive formula babies. It's not dangerous or harmful. And it would happen whether you mixed bm and formula in the same bottle, fed them at the same feeding or fed only breastmilk on one day and only formula on another. Like you said, circumstances made it impossible to give her breastmilk only. And the breastmilk you did give her is benefittign her.

    I checked out the web. Even LaLecheLeague does not say it is bad. Just says it's better to give in separate bottles, breastmilk first, then formula if needed. That way you don't waste any breastmilk.

    So don't worry. You did the best for your little one.
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  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    You are doing fine. My son was a preterm/low birthweight baby. The neonatologists made us add formula to his bottles of breastmilk to increase the caloric content. It was only a small amount but I imagine that they wouldn't have had us to so it it was harmful.

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  • Yes, Still PaulaYes, Still Paula Posts: 485Registered Users
    Thanks for the encouragement everyone. For a moment there I was getting a bit worried after finding out that a lactation consultant in my area is telling people it's a bad thing to mix the two (whether or not in separate bottles), but now I feel so much better. And I'm even reconsidering re-lactating if I can just to give her more antibodies. We'll see! :cheers:
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    I agree with the others...we mixed Steven's bottles with BM and formula with no problems at alL!

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  • Jenny CJenny C Posts: 1,195Registered Users
    I mixed BM and formula in the same bottle when Lucy was first born. She didn't latch on and before my milk really came in, I mixed the two with no problems for a few weeks.

    Alot of people supplement BM with formula, it's pretty common.
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  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users
    My sister has had me mix the two for all of her kids. The only digestive problems they've had is when she eats too many beans.
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  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    Whne I was drying up and couldn't get an entire bottle out, my pediatrition told me to mix them together.
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